28 February 2005

My birthday present to myself...

Mute Math
Flatirons Theater
Boulder, CO

May 24, 2005!

What a weekend...

So... I got back yesterday morning and wound up taking a ticket for the last OC Supertones concert in Boulder last night (my friend, Steph wasn't feeling well). It was lot of fun... the Supertones are great live.

But, so... we got back later than was probably good (I kind of got lost on the way back and we stopped at Taco Bell). So... I waited an hour and a half and then started my reading for my lit class (the boring book). Yeah... I'm just a little tired. And sore from standing most of the night. It was good, though.

I don't think I've ever been to a concert with people who actually strive to be physically active (moshing, dancing... that kind of thing), so it was definitely a new experience. People kept running into me... maybe it's because I'm short and they don't see me there or something... who knows?

Classes this morning were... pointless? I sat in my first one, writing my accountability stuff and listening to my iPod (we were learning about the French Revolution... please!) And, in the second one, which I was up late and early to finish my work, we didn't even get to my chapter... so it was pointless... but at least it's done, right? Yup.

Yeah... I'm going to do some stuff now and then go to Law. Fun stuff. Have a beautiful day!

Mood: Unintelligible Listening to: Delirious?, World Service Reading: Laura's IMs

27 February 2005


Can you ever go home again?

It's been sobering to be here this weekend... I have no concept of what life is like here at home without me and my parents have no concept of what my life is like at school without them.

I'm stuck between two different roles - friend and peer, and daughter. The fact that I hang out with guys was a momentous occasion for my family, who has not seen me hang out with guys in a few years (since high school). The situations that I have been dealing with (on my own) are not completely understood and, rightly, should not be.

And I feel I can't even tell them half of the stuff that I know about. Things that I need prayer for... things that are bothering me... things that my friends are going through. It's just so foreign to them - like they don't even want to try and understand.

But, overall, it has been a good time to be home. To rest. Sleep. Eat good food. See family. Read some fiction.

And talk to my dad... he's always been such a good listener, especially when I ramble. God bless his heart.

I miss the Fort, though... I miss hanging out with people at random hours of the night and the sound of constant laughter. The time will come again for that soon enough, however.

Tonight, I will rest, knowing that my parents' home is somewhere I can always go to, to do so. 'Night.

Mood: Contemplative Listening to: Quiet Reading: The Road from Coorain, Jill Kerr Conway

25 February 2005

What I have found...

...Is that I probably should not study with the guys around (but I'll do it anyway). :)

I still manage to get stuff done - it's just at a much slower pace than I normally would. Oh well.

Anyway, I get to go home today! I'm so eager to see my family - my brother, especially. Maybe I can convince him to come up here next weekend and hang out with me... Hm... I'll see what I can do.

I have an exam in under an hour and I still have to go buy a blue book... so I'm going to do that now. Laters!

Mood: Tired, I think Listening to: Shawn McDonald, Simply Nothing
Reading: Notes on Chinese and Western interaction from 1500-1800

24 February 2005

Thursday Thoughts

May I leave these childish wanderings away from Christ's peace behind me.

I'm always living for "tomorrow" - the end of exams, the opportunity for something different, the end of something painful.

I'm always running from "yesterday" - things that went badly, memories that distract, things I can't achieve again (or wouldn't even want to, for that matter).

But where does that leave me today?

Today, I need to sit at the feet of my Maker; today, I need to find peace and comfort in His sanctuary; today, I need to rest in the fact that I am forgiven - that I have something to share.

My focus is not meant to be on "me," on "tomorrow," or on "yesterday," but on the prize - my reward - Jesus Christ.

A different life begins today.

Mood: Hungry Listening to: The Turning, Wide Awake and Dreaming
Reading: The clock (it's lunchtime)

Exam in T-minus 1 hr 5 min

Oh, the joys of being part of an educational system! I have my first Media Effects exam in about an hour. I have studied, and I do know a lot of this stuff, true, but I have no idea what this is going to be like.

With all grace, this exam will be similar to my law exam, where there was nothing I didn't know... We will see.

Anyway, going to finish getting ready now. That, and some last minute review. Ltares.

Mood: Um... Listening to: Cars pass by my window Reading: Class notes

23 February 2005

Once in a while...

... I actually shave my legs. :)

I found that I have the same bruise on both knees and no clue as to how either of them got there.

And, I'm actually wearing a skirt because it's warm enough. Don't look so shocked! ;)

Studying... studying... I'm getting there. Promise.

The results are in...

... I got an A on my law exam! A real, honest-to-goodness, solid, before the curve A. One of three in my class, and one of eight in both sections... and *drumroll, please* I'm a Junior! Take that! :)

Nice. This has totally made my day! Now... back to studying for my Media Effects exam tomorrow. Yay... !

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
These things I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon - from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of Your waterfalls;
all Your waves and breakers have swept over me

By day the LORD directs His love,
at night His song is with me-
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
"Why have You forgotten me?
Why must I got about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"
My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God.

Verse 7 has become such a word picture of comfort to me... a picture of complete calm while waves and breakers crash over my head - their power never reaching me because I am sheltered from the storm. It is one promise I'm clinging to right now.

One of many.

So, it didn't snow...

...Well, not here, at least. :) It snowed on Laura!

Really, though, it was supposed to, but we got some good winds that pushed it away.

Anyway, today's been kind of weird... I had a really strange dream this morning right before I woke up (one that I was about to find something out in) so... That was on my mind all morning (my imagination went into overdrive)! I got a lot of sleep last night, but I'm more exhausted than I've been in days. Go figure.

But, yeah, I went to class this morning (much good it did) and the guys went snowboarding. If I had the money to go and the moxy to skip class with abandon, I'd be right there with 'em, but I don't, and that's okay. Hopefully, they'll make it down from the mountain in one piece each (does that make sense? LOL.)

We listened to a tape on pride and humility last night, which was very convicting. It is so tempting to take what you hear and place it on someone else, but it is really revealing when you internalize it and say, "where does this apply?"

One thing that hit really hard was the speaker's statement that humility is secure while pride is unstable.

How true is that? The more proud we become, the more we seek things to satisfy and find ourselves increasingly more empty. Only in humility can we find balance and a place of rest. Mind-blowing, huh?

Things kind of got bad again last night... I'm still struggling with my attitude, but it's getting better. I have taken the focus off of "me" because, guess what!? I don't have anything to do with it! Quite a mindset-changer, I must say. :)

Nick and Phil now have one very humorous message on their answering machine... call and listen - you'll laugh.

Everyone is gearing up to road trip to California over spring break and I really want to go, but Mom got the time off and Dad is trying to... and I really do want to spend time with my parents. I just want to be with everyone else, too. It's quite the mental struggle right now (on top of everything else).

I got my first paper back today for my lit class (4.25/5) and I am supposed to get my law exam back today, too. This day could get very interesting, especially since I have exams both tomorrow and Friday. I can rest when the week is over, but man... how I could use a nap right now.

Instead, I'm going to turn to a different source of peace and rest - God's Word. Because if I fail to seek Him through His Word in my circumstances... I fail to seek Him. I know this to be true.

Mood: Hazy Listening to: Andrew Peterson, Carried Along Reading: OT Survey

22 February 2005

Waiting for it to snow...

... 'Cause my knee is swollen and, these days, that means one thing: SNOW! :)

Anyway, the forecast confirms my suspicions... it should start snowing very soon.

In the meantime, however, I'm icing my knee and I'm going to read some more of the NT Harmony of the Gospels I'm working through (and my OT survey, which is awesome). I also plan on forgetting about my panel this morning (it went okay, but it was really hard to tell how we did grade-wise). Then, I'm going to the library to study for a few hours until my lab, which I'm excited about (the studying... not the lab).

Four hours of sleep and prayer time this morning... what else does one really need to run on?

Mood: Motivated Listening to: Chris Rice, Past the Edges
Reading: OT survey, NT Harmony, The Cost of Discipleship [Bonhoeffer]

My Prayer for the Week

"Give us faith to be strong
Father, we are so weak
Our bodies are fragile and weary
And as we stagger and stumble
To walk where You lead
Give us faith to be strong

Give us faith to be strong
Give us strength to be faithful
This life is not long but it's hard
Give us grace to go on
Make us willing and able
Lord, give us faith to be strong

Give us peace when we're torn
Mend us up when we break
This flesh can be wounded and shaky
When there's much too much travel
For one heart to take
Give us peace when we're torn

Give us faith to be strong
Give us strength to be faithful
This life is not long but it's hard
Give us grace to go on
Make us willing and able
Lord, give us faith to be strong

Give us hearts to find hope
Father, we cannot see
How the sorrow we feel can bring freedom
And as hard as we try
Lord, it's hard to believe
So give us hearts to find hope

Give us peace when we're torn
Give us faith - faith to be strong."

[[Andrew Peterson, "Faith to Be Strong", Carried Along

From Sociology class...

"Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me-
those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?
No man can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for him
the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough-
that he should live on forever and not see decay.
For all can see that wise men die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others."
[[Psalm 49:5-10]]

Yesterday was, at the end of things, a "good" day - cathartic, healing... almost. I've never enjoyed pain, but I'm willing to be refined and, sometimes, that is the only way to do so.

No man can redeem the life of another... how sobering is that thought?

When those that we love fail to believe or fail to remain willing within God's will, we can do nothing.

Doing nothing often carries frustration, but we are called to love. We will be known by His love.

I was shown a lot of love and encouragement by my "family" last night. The guys tried for over an hour to cheer me up and, to some extent, they were successful (and entertaining).

My role in this (or lack thereof) is at rest - I am at rest.

My heart is simply heavy.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

Mood: Ready for the week to be over Listening to: Dishwalla, Opaline Reading: Psalms

21 February 2005

Attempting Rest in the Promises of My Maker

Last weekend, we studied fighting battles and one of the strategies given was to rest upon the promises of God. Exodus 14:14 is one. Romans 8 is a whole slew of em. Jeremiah 29:11, 13. The list goes on.

The main promise I am trying to rest in now is that God is sovereign and in control. Things around here have been insane lately, from late nights to drama to processing through things on my own. I rarely talk to my best friends anymore simply because I have gotten so busy (and God wants us to grow individually).

"I wait for the Lord - my soul waits.
In His Word, I place my trust; in His Word, I rest.
In His Word, I place my trust, for I know I must wait."
[["I Wait for the Lord", Jeremy Camp]]

I know I must wait. That's it. That's what I'm meant to do.

I just don't know how to live that out - to get to the place where there is peace in waiting again.

I have experienced it before and I know that my Father is faithful to His promises. Forever faithful.

And, in that, I can rest. Amen.

Mood: Broken Listening to: Jeremy Camp, Carried Me: The Worship Project
Reading: Promises

He remains...

"You Remain" ©2004, Alyssa Kate Grinstead

20 February 2005

It's before midnight!

And I'm actually in my room! It is so amazing, I must say... :)

Anyway, this past weekend has been great. I've been hanging out with the gang here and I put away my homework (save the bare minimum). I saw Constantine last night, which was interesting to some degree, but I really don't recommend.

We started 2 Corinthians in church today, which was really cool (we studied the God of comfort). I went over to Steph's with a lot of people and her parents were more than gracious in giving us all a home-cooked meal and an afternoon of entertainment. I tried to do homework this afternoon, but only got past the minimum (a bibliography for my panel Tuesday) and then I played my guitar until Hannah came in and chatted for a while.

Then I went to dinner... :)

And dinner turned into watching She's All That with friends. It gets hard sometimes because I don't know how to react when people objectify/judge other people period, much less in movies, but when I do react, I always feel like I'm going to be shunned or condemned by whoever I'm talking to.

It just reminds me of Paul, challenging me to consider God's truth to be my highest priority...

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." -Galatians 1:10

What a hard pill to swallow!

And, now, I am going to bed... for the first time in several days, I am in my room before 1:30am. That's impressive.

Another week of tests coming right up... with special sauce. :) 'Night.

Mood: Irritated Listening to: Tree63, The Answer to the Question
Reading: Accountability stuff

19 February 2005

Another late night...

I just watched Braveheart for the first time ever and, I must say, it was well worth the three hours to do so. Granted, I didn't actually see all of the movie (the ceiling and other people are my best friends during battle scenes), but the story was amazing.

My favorite part has to be the exchange of cloth during the wedding ceremony, though. It is a picture of covenant - like when Jonathon and David exchanged garments. Very cool.

Anyway, the guys managed to create "stadium seating" in Nick and Phil's room by dragging in another couch and placing it on top of two desks behind the other one... we had a ton of food. I really enjoyed the experience.

And, now, I must go to bed because I have to be up to meet with my panel at 11am. I am so ready for next week to be over already. 'Night.

Mood: Beyond exhaustion Listening to: Braveheart soundtrack in my head
Reading: The clock, which says "SAT 2:14:08 AM"

18 February 2005

Check the time... It's late!

Wow... I just spent the last eight hours discussing stuff in Nick and Phil's room.

In the beginning, we tackled the panels, hashing out what initiation looks like and what girls' actions are meant to look like. Then, after most of the girls left (actually, I think I was the only one there for the last three or four hours), we got into politics, war, revenge, miracles, and so much more... what a night!

Hence, the reason I'm still up: my Lit paper, which was pretty much finished when I went over to the South side tonight. Granted, I have a lot of other stuff to do and I am pulling an all-nighter (I'll sleep tomorrow after my last class). Praise God for Fridays! :)

So, yeah... that's where I am. I am surrounded by men of God who are willing to search for truth. Amen!

Just getting to see their hearts - their desire to protect the hearts of the women in their lives, to protect the lives of the people in their lives, and their heart to wrestle with stuff, even when it causes discomfort or requires change on their part. Praise the God who changes our lives, our minds, and our hearts...

We serve a God that loves us so much. He is sovereign and holy and He is coming back.

What could be time better spent than this? This is abundant life. To God be the glory!

Mood: Tired and sore, but willing Listening to: Chris Tomlin, Arriving
Reading: My Lit paper for corrections and structure... not working

17 February 2005

Life in the Library

I finally got the right client to get online with my wireless connection in the library, so... ta-dah!

Anyway, I'm working (kind of) on a paper that is due tomorrow (and that I haven't been able to start until now). Things are pretty good, I guess... I could really use some sleep but, other than that... :)

I still processing through last night, which is good, but I'm struggling to be willing for God to change my heart on this one. I'm just a bundle of emotions right now. God is faithful and sovereign, however, and I can trust in that. Amen.

Mood: Sleepy Listening to: Phil Keaggy, Hymnsongs Reading: "Chivalry" by C.S. Lewis

When you can't find your wallet...

...You can't find the stamp needed to send your best friend's birthday card.

It's so pretty, too! :) LOL.

Anyway, at college group tonight, we split up into guys and girls panels and then came back together for a co-ed panel. It was really good to hear people's thoughts on waiting and friendships with the opposite sex and whatnot.

It was also definitely needed right now. I've been wrestling with some things lately and have come to certain conclusions, which were reaffirmed tonight by my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Now, however, we deal with the fallout of a topic like this: complete and total awkwardness with good friends. Eek! I'm just hoping that it passes. I love my brothers dearly, you know? I'm just praying that God will help them process through this as well... that we would all take to heart His truth and His desire for us to live sacrificial lives unto Him, not unto ourselves or unto others.

For me, there was also a chance to reflect on the healing and the grace that has become so evident in my life over the past few months. Where once there was pain, there are scars testifying to God's unfailing love! Praise the Lord!

I am forgiven and set free by the mercy of Christ's blood, and that is more than enough. Amen.

Mood: Contemplative Listening to: Quiet Reading: Between the lines of myself

16 February 2005

And now... rest!

I finished my exam in 35 minutes, and I think I did really well (an A or B). There wasn't anything on the exam that I didn't know and none of it was too difficult, and the best part is...

...It's over! Yay! I can finally breathe for a few hours. I have been studying for this test since last week. Now I can focus on my readings and my paper and my presentation... wow... still got a lot to do, but I'm calm. :)

Mood: Relief Listening to: FM Static, "Three Days Later" Reading: Absolutely nothing

One hour, fifteen minutes to go...

...And I will be sitting in my first Communications Law exam (eek!)

On the one hand, I'm starting to get nervous because I don't remember everything... but I know a lot more than I think I know, so... Go figure.

I can't pull myself away from the Hawk Nelson album. It just fits my mood perfectly and since my mood isn't changing, despite stress (Yay! I've been working toward this for years!) it just stays on. :)

"For the first time in my whole life I'm not afraid of feeling alive.
For the last time I've fallen behind and nothing now can change my mind."

Good stuff. Yuppers. (It's been a long time since I've used that word.)

I'm going to go back to studying now. It's been a good day so far, albeit slightly confusing.

Have a good one!

Mood: Pre-anxious and calm Listening to: Hawk Nelson, Letters to the President
Reading: 53 notecards devoted to Media Law

15 February 2005

It's snowing!

I woke up this morning to go to prayer at Danforth and found out that it was snowing... but it's not cold! It's so pretty... so clean and pure... covering everything.

Anyway, here's the promised picture of the C.S. Lewis section in the library (or some of it):

I sat in the basement today after my Sociology exam and read for my Media Effects class. It was so peaceful. Gosh. I'm becoming addicted to the library! *gasp*

Last night was wonderful... the guys cooked us dinner to show appreciation for our being their sisters in Christ. They escorted to and from the building and into dinner... serving us the whole way and eventually serenading us. :) It was fun to get dressed up and just let go for the evening, getting to fellowship with my family. I keep saying it, but I am so incredibly blessed! We got the guys plastic swords... which they are in love with (nevermind that they were surrounded by beautiful women all night... they just want the swords. LOL.) They're so good to us.

Here's Becky and me during the dinner... Don't I have pretty friends?

Anyway... I need to go do some work for my exam tomorrow and keep myself away from this CD... it's so good and, now, it's full of memories. :)

Mood: Relaxed Listening to: Hawk Nelson, Letters to the President
Reading: OT Survey

14 February 2005

#13 - Something that will make me (Nick) laugh...

That's it... there are the results of our photo scavenger hunt. :) Happy Valentine's Day!

More Scavenger Hunt Pictures...

#1 - Weapon of mass destruction
[[This was a greeting card.]]

#2 - Strawberry lip gloss
[[Why strawberry? We asked the same question. The world may never know.]]

#3 - Urinal
[[Yes... this is a urinal at Copper Mountain. No... we didn't go in there. Lucas did.]]

#4 - Pink skis

#5 - A baby
[[This is our college pastor's son, Caleb.]]

#6 - Someone that looks like Phil
[[This was a greeting card.]]

#7 - Skier in a cowboy hat
[[This was on a coaster.]]

#8 - Gumball machine

#9 - Ski school group
[[We figured this one to be somewhat of a business type "group", not actually a group of kids or something.]]

#10 - A red head (Not Nick)

13 February 2005

Retreat Pictures

So... this is what I saw all day today and yesterday: God's beautiful creation which just displays His majesty.

And my friends, Nick and Dave, had Chelsea and I do a photo scavenger hunt after lunch (because we didn't ski or board and they wanted to keep me away from my homework - they were successful, I'll add).

So, here are two of the pictures (out of 13). I'll eventually put up all of them. :) 'Night.

#11 - The coolest chair ever

#12 - A picture of Kate in grave danger

So incredibly blessed

I don't remember a time in recent history where I have been so calm, relaxed, and peaceful, and I definitely have my brothers to thank for that. They just make me laugh and bring such joy into my heart.

I am so incredibly blessed!

I have just seen my spiritual family in action this weekend, encouraging and being encouraged. I got to know a lot of people better than I had before, and I got to just kick back and stay away from the drama!

And I even studied, but it was fun, you know? I would be sitting there, studying, listening to my iPod and watching everyone play games and just be filled with joy that I am surrounded by people who are seeking and willing to seek the Lord.

But that's all I can process right now... I have to debrief with Laura and with my Heavenly Father and then I'll get back to you.

May God impress upon you recognition of His blessing. Goodnight.

Mood: Peace and calm Listening to: Hawk Nelson, Letters to the President
Reading: Nothing, for once

10 February 2005

The Longest Day

So... I went to bed at 2:30 this morning and got up at 6:30 to take a shower before class.

Then, I went to class from 8 to 12, came back, ate lunch, and went to the library from 1 to 6pm.

But guess what I found!? There's a whole C.S. Lewis section in the lower level of the library! It's so cool. There are so many cool collections of literature down there, and I never realized it. It's a perfect reading spot... It took a year and a half, but I have finally found my favorite spot on campus. :) I took a picture, which I'll post later. (I'm a dork - I know!)

I am definitely tired, though, so I think I'm going to make up a packing list for this weekend and head to bed, taking some NyQuil with me. We leave tomorrow night, and I'm ready to go.

Anyway... time for bed. :) 'Night.

Mood: Mentally Exhausted Listening to: Phil Keaggy, Acoustic Sketches
Reading: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams

A reminder to myself... "Forfeiture"

People who know me know that I do not accept personal failure well.

I was recently talking to my dad about one of my midterms, a multiple choice political science exam that turned out to be one of the hardest exams I had ever taken.

He told me to keep studying, hope that I pulled off a grade of at least 50 percent, and pass the class with a C.

Colleges give credit for a C. It works like that.

“But I don’t work like that,” I told him.

And it’s true, I don’t.

Since I was in elementary school, I have felt a push to be “the best”.

It didn’t necessarily come from my parents, although they did expect me to do my best.

It came from me.

In high school, I strained myself to the limits. I even forced myself to quit the swim team because my schoolwork came first.

I played it safe. I never ditched. I took Advanced Placement classes.

And it paid off, I guess.

I graduated in the top 5% of my class (of about 600), I did extremely well on my SAT and ACT, and was accepted to every school I applied to.

Now, in college, I find myself doing much of the same thing: studying to the point where I have very little time to myself, stressing out over exams and grades, and trying to fit four years of coursework into three years.

Obviously, I get a little overworked at times, and the first thing to go is typically my time with God.

I have always been a night person, and for as long as I can remember, the time before I go to bed has been the time I spend with God.

Except, after a long day, I am usually exhausted to the point where my pillow looks more appealing than my prayer life.

So, I am forced to ask myself:

“Does any of this even matter?”

Does my pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion, while pushing God to the side, amount to anything?

Honestly, I don’t think it does.

Don’t get me wrong – I know that God wants me in school – but He does not want me in school and out of my relationship with Him.

Making a relationship with God my first priority is not as hard as it may seem.

These days, I spend the middle of my day with God, and the coolest part is that my time spent with Him gives me the motivation to diligently do my schoolwork.

But, in order to spend that time with God and make it a priority, I have had to discipline myself to leave my computer and television off until I have spent my time with Him.

I am learning to forfeit the chronos (the time we live in) for the kairos (the time that God lives in).

Forfeiture is perhaps my biggest struggle – weighing what is truly important against that which is not – and it is evident in many of my stories (see “Accepting the Bench”, “Making Time”, and “The Risk Factor”).

But it is extremely important that we do forfeit the chronos for the kairos because “the man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25)

All of my accolades will, one day, fade.

My high school and college diplomas will, one day, crumble to dust.

How I did on my first midterm in my comparative politics class will, one day, be forgotten.

But the time I spend getting to know my Savior will, forever, be worthwhile.

[[originally published at saLt on 10.11.2004]]

Time Well Spent

So... things continue to get more and more insane around here.
I'm so exhausted all around and running on fumes.

I'm so ready for the retreat this weekend.

But today was good, even with the drug hangover (NyQuil). I went to my classes, hit the library to do some research for my Media Effects class, went to college group, grabbed a late meal with the gang (or part of it)... watched the guys skateboard in the freezing cold south parking lot... :) It was fun. Something different. A different vibe. Definitely needed.

It's funny how God has been using others to encourage me lately. I have felt so lost and so worthless, and He has just been faithful to encourage me and keep me humble all at the same time.

I am covered by such an enormous amount of grace. Amen.

Mood: Content Listening to: Night noises Reading: "Do Media Have Effects?" by E. Perse

08 February 2005

A Garland of Grace...

What truly is "wisdom"? How do we define it?

"Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a boy in my father's house,
still tender, and an only child of my mother,
he taught me and said,
'Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will set a garland of grace on your head
and present you with a crown of splendor
.'" [[Proverbs 4:1-9]]

Wisdom is what is left behind when everything is stripped away and Covenant is complete: Christ clothes Himself in my sin and I clothe myself with Christ.

When we've been tested and come out, we are marked by grace.

The testing of our faith develops wisdom and we are to desire wisdom more than anything.

"There is no greater loss than to lose myself in You."
[[Mute Math, "Control"]]

Mood: Head Cold Listening to: JT211 Lab Reading: My storyboard

07 February 2005

Past Obvious

So what does it take to get a girl’s attention?
A fire? A hailstorm? Thunder and rain?
What does it take to get past the obvious
Into my oblivion? Does it have to take pain?

If I fail to be willing to be
Broken and bleeding before Thee
This might be a bit painful for me.

So what does it take to grab life at its corner?
To not look ‘round its bend to discern what comes next?
What does it take to place each well-formed desire
In Your hands? To know You know best?

If I fail to be willing to be
Broken and bleeding before Thee
This might be a bit painful for me.

So can I manage to sit in my ignorance?
Can I pretend that the rules don’t apply?
Can I befriend what only You comprehend?
Can I trust You with the how and the why?

You’ll go to any lengths to get my attention.
A fire. A hailstorm. Thunder and rain.
To get past the obvious into my oblivion,
You’ll try to get through without any pain.

But if I fail to be willing to be
Broken and bleeding before Thee
This might be a bit painful for me.

©2004 Alyssa Kate Grinstead

What a letdown...

Granted, the Patriots did win (yay!), but the commercials weren't all that great this year.

There were a few keepers: the Kinko's one, the Mustang commercial, and the one with the guy and the cat and the tomato sauce... priceless.

I'm still working my tail off to try and get ahead. Next week is going to be killer. My ability to get massive quantities of work done this week is crucial to my survival.

My body has started waking me up at 7:30am every single stinking day. It's kind of cool, but mostly annoying.

To all who are going insane, my prayers are with you. Stay strong and don't get sick.

Mood: Studious and Hungry Listening to: Ben Glover, 26 Letters
Reading: Communications Law (still)

05 February 2005

When we fail to seek God's Word in our circumstances...

...we fail to find God. Our world is so full of relativism. There are no absolutes. No moral boundaries. Some say we're steadily improving socially... others think we relatively stay the same, but the technologies change. I think we're declining.

"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." [[Galatians 5:19-21]]

It's amazing how peace is found nowhere in the sinful nature... the reason is that Christ Himself is our peace [[Ephesians 2]]. The past few days, we have been searching for peace, not knowing what it would look like, not knowing what the next step would look like in this mess that has presented itself.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." [[Galatians 5:22-25]]

He is our peace. It's that simple.

"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over His kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this."
[[Isaiah 9:6-7]]

Peace comes with the increase of government. Until we surrender our lives to the government of God and of His grace, we will never ourselves know peace.

For He Himself is our peace.

"Love can change us. Love can make a way." [[Chris Rice]]

Our God, who is perfect and sovereign and holy, came to die for us: to conquer death and sin and set us free into the peace that He brings.

He became man because we could never become God.

"It was grace because it cost so much and it cost so much because it was grace." [[Dietrich Bonhoeffer]]

So, at the end of the day, despite my exhaustion and my heavy heart, I can still rest in His peace... Amen.

"You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in You." [[Isaiah 26:3]]

Mood: Heavy-Laden and Peaceful Listening to: Chris Rice, Deep Enough to Dream
Reading: Matthew 5-6

04 February 2005

Dishwalla release date...

March 15, 2005...! How exciting is that?! I'm stoked to see what they've cooked up for this album. Opaline is just one of the best albums ever crafted. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)

Mood: Procrastinating Listening to: Andrew Peterson, Carried Along
Reading: My Bible and Communications Law

Praise the Lord!

I don't have to go to my Communications Law class today! The professor is ill! Yay!

I'm done at noon... how exciting is that?!

03 February 2005

What a day...

I feel like I've been hit my emotional and physical bricks. My body is hurting and my heart, grieving.

I'm exhausted, to say the least.

I've been trying to do homework, but my brain has yet to focus well. I've been working on my law reading, which is interesting, but it's just a lot. I have my first exam in that class a week from Monday and I'm terrified. Guess who's going to be studying next week? Oh... that would be me. :)

I have a lot of drugs in my system right now. If I didn't have so much to do and I didn't need to focus, it would be even better, I'm sure.

I went to class today, though, even when my head and body so loudly said, "No!" I pulled my butt out of bed at 7:25 to make my 8am class. Take that! ;)

I have decided to go home on Saturday. Just for the night and to do some laundry (and homework), but it'll be good to be someplace different for a while. I think we all need a change of scenery at this point.

Candace and I signed up to stay in the same room again next year... it's wonderful to have stability and be blessed with a wonderful roommate all at the same time. It's one of the few peaceful things I have right now.

Back to the law textbook... oh joy! 'Night.

Mood: Studious Listening to: Shane and Shane, Upstairs Reading: The transition from the bad tendecy doctrine to the clear and present danger test (Communications Law)

One sleepless night later...

...a headache, some Tylenol and Sudaphed, three classes, lunch, a nap, a long talk with the girls, and a shower, I have finally made it to this point. My body is barely functioning and I have stuff to do.

Just be praying. We need prayer. A lot of it. And peace. That would be nice, too.

It's such a beautiful day, too...

Mood: Utterly Exhausted Listening To: Adam Watts, The Noise Inside Reading: Nothing

02 February 2005

"Shut your eyes. Jump. Take this beautiful fall."

Adam Watts, The Noise Inside

I must say... I love this album. It's such a diverse, colorful, thoughtful album. It's also the reason I'm still awake. Going to bed early is like saying I won't get to sleep. Darn Murphy. Anyway... I was listening to my iPod and went to listen to one of his songs and it made my brain think too much, so here I am. It's so poetic. There's one song that I want to be played at my wedding, but that's a different story altogether. So much for sleep, huh? Anyway, I had a long day... classes this morning and one this afternoon. I spent the rest of my time trying to get my work done for my Media Effects class and trying to figure out if I'm going home this weekend or not. I'm still not sure. I actually had energy, though, which is the first time in a long time that I haven't felt like a shell of a person. The opening words of the song, "I Will Fear Not" keep ringing through my head, "I could fall apart before I start. In the grip of doubt, I need You, Lord. Will You carry me? Take hold of me when I can't see an open door?"

I've been struggling a lot lately and I feel so strangely incomplete.

Our senior pastor, Tom, came and talked at our college group tonight about free will and predestination, which was so good; he knows Scripture so well that it was cool just to hear him talk, you know?

It was good to see people tonight at college group and at dinner... I feel like I am so isolated because of my insane schedule. Next semester will be so much better, since I'll be down to four classes, instead of six. I miss seing people and talking to them and just hanging out with them. I just pray that God will "turn what was fear into love" regarding my doubts and insecurities. He loves me enough to change me, and I look forward to the day when these fears disappear.


Current Mood: Sleepy Listening to: Adam Watts, The Noise Inside Reading: Nothing.

01 February 2005

It's 42 degrees outside...

... and it had to be even colder in my classes this morning. I sat through all of my classes, huddled in my winter coat and shivering. Why does it have to be so cold?! Anyway, my classes were good. We watched a movie about nonverbal gestures in my Sociology class, which consisted of how to flip people off in several different countries (!), and we watched a whole bunch of clips from random stuff in my Media Effects class because we were looking at the Payne Fund Studies on movie effects in children. Fun stuff, actually, but I am a nerd, so... In trying to warm up, I'm going to spend some time digging into my Bible and then doing homework until my lab tonight. My Communications Law prof assigned nine chapters of reading for last week alone! I'm still trying to catch up... that's like two full weeks' worth of reading for all of my classes. Grr... I'm going to look into coming up with a skin for this thing that is my own, so... maybe that'll happen someday. Have a good one.

Current Mood: Cold Listening to: Mute Math, Reset EP Reading: Communications Law